Gander returns

Two years ago, Gander Mountain went bankrupt and closed its 126 hunting/fishing/camping stores across the country, including one on Zaragoza Road in East El Paso.

As of last Thursday, Gander is back in El Paso, but it’s now Gander Outdoors, a shop inside the Camping World location in Anthony.

After Gander went bankrupt, it was acquired by Camping World Holdings, the company that’s been selling RVs and everything you need to hit the road since 1966.

Best swimming holes

Texas Monthly published a list of the best swimming holes in the state. The magazine says the Gulf of Mexico is No. 1, but technically, is  the gulf in Texas? 

Anyway, No. 2 is our favorite swimming hole: Balmorhea State Park, about three hours east of El Paso. The spring-fed pool was closed for renovations last year. It reopened in March, closed briefly in April, and is open again. We hear it’s having a busy, busy, summer.

What’s third on the list? Barton Springs Pool in Austin.

One more QB

He probably won’t play this year, but former UTEP quarterback Jordan Palmer will be back in town for this year’s Morning with the Miners breakfast. 

Guests at the Aug. 22 kickoff event will enjoy breakfast while seated on the field of the Sun Bowl, and hear from UTEP football coach Dana Dimel and athletics director Jim Senter, as well as Palmer. 

Palmer played at UTEP from 2003 to 2006 under coach Mike Price. He is still the school’s top-ranked QB in passing efficiency, completion percentage and 300-yard passing games. He had 16 of those.

Moving on

We hear that Diana Natalicio will live in a condominium near UTEP. After 30 years of growing and transforming the University of Texas at El Paso, her last day on the job as president is Aug. 14. 

On the cover of

Well, it’s not Rolling Stone, but it is a national referee magazine. El Pasoan Al Velarde will be on the cover of Referee Magazine’s October issue.

Velarde, who’s a trustee on the EPISD board, referees high school football. He is executive director of the Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center, but you might remember him as the public information officer for the El Paso Police Department.

Got a Whisper? Email